Thursdays, June 1, 8 & 15

12:00 pm-1:30 pm ET

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Mindfulness is a quality of awareness in which our perception of the present moment’s experience is not distorted by biases such as old fears, assumptions, or projection into the future. It shows us what life looks like when we see through the lens of universal conditions such as impermanence and interconnection. Mindfulness spearheads the path of understanding our lives by helping us to notice what causes us suffering and what brings us freedom from suffering. It is the root of living our lives more fully and more truly. 

This program explores the meditative techniques of mindfulness applied in a variety of contexts, including wrestling with dukkha, making ethical decisions, seeking wisdom, coping with trauma, communicating, practicing lovingkindness, exploring equanimity, the commonality of science and mindfulness, and the role of mindfulness in everyday life.

Whether you use mindfulness to manage stress or difficult emotions, improve relationships, increase engagement, or enhance your overall well-being, these discussions can help you further live your mindfulness practice. This nine-month program features IMS teachers from many generations and backgrounds. You can participate in all nine months or pick and choose the topics that interest you most.

The Buddha spoke about the powerful potential we have to shape the people we become: “Whatever you frequently think and ponder upon, that will become the inclination of your mind.” Metta or lovingkindness meditation is a beautiful training that gives us an ability to naturally incline our minds, speech, and action towards kindness and goodwill.

When we practice metta along with our mindfulness practice, we gradually notice how naturally the mind inclines towards goodwill. At the same time, the old habit patterns that cause us pain and problems begin to diminish. Wholesome qualities like goodwill, compassion, kindness, and gratitude naturally spring forth, and we become mindful of that! Qualities such as these bring about an inviolable sense of well-being that emanates from within, not dependent on outer circumstances. With time and continuity, making metta practice part of your day can re-shape your meditation practice and your life. In this module of Essential Mindfulness, IMS Guiding Teacher Kamala Masters, Ruth King, and Neesha Patel will lead participants in an exploration of mindfulness and lovingkindness practice. 

This program will be recorded and made available for on-demand viewing after the live sessions. On-demand videos will be available for 90 days following the live event.

Meet Your Teachers

Kamala Masters

Kamala Masters is a co-founder with Steve Armstrong of Vipassana Metta Foundation, and serves as an IMS guiding teacher. A meditator since 1977, she trained intensively in metta (lovingkindness) and vipassana (insight) in the Mahasi tradition with Sayadaw U Pandita and Anagarika Munindra. Continuing her practice with Sayadaw U Tejaniya, she encourages a balanced relaxed awareness that has the clarity of precision as well as kindness. She is a mother of 4 children and grandmother of 7.

Ruth King

Ruth King is the Founder of Mindful of Race Institute, LLC, and is a celebrated author, educator, and meditation teacher. Formally an organizational development consultant to Intel and Levi Strauss corporations, King currently teaches the Mindful of Race Training Program to leaders, teams, and organizations, weaving mindfulness-based principles with an exploration of our racial conditioning, its impact, and our potential. King teaches mindfulness meditation retreats worldwide and develops meditation practitioners at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Insight Meditation Society, and the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program. She has a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from John F. Kennedy University, CA, and is the author of several publications including her most recent, "Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism From The Inside Out."

Neesha Patel

Neesha Patel has been drawn to the teachings of the Buddha ever since she first read comic books about the Buddha as a child. She has been fortunate to have been infused by and practiced the dhamma in both Asia and the US. Her practice has been influenced by the guidance of many wonderful teachers, including Sayadaw U Tejaniya and Ajahn Sucitto. Though her dhamma practice primarily derives from Vipassana traditions, she has benefited deeply from wisdom expressed in the Zen/Chan and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. She loves both intensive longer retreat practice, as well as daily life practice, and is inspired by the radical inclusivity of the dhamma. Neesha currently resides in Northern California. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioner Program, and is a current participant in the 2017-2021 IMS Teacher Training Program.

Choose your enrollment fee

As one part of our ongoing effort to expand access to the teachings of the Buddha, all IMS Online programs feature sliding scale registration fees and the opportunity to self-select a low-cost scholarship rate. No-fee enrollment is available for those who request a fee-waiver via email. Our system supports the cultivation of a dynamic and inclusive community and is made possible by our generous donors and those who choose to support other students by contributing at the “Benefactor” level.